Register murder case against police, pay compensation, J

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Srinagar, Mar 19 (UNI) Directing authorities to register a murder case against police officials involved in alleged custodial death of a person, Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) today said death during detention was one of the worst crimes in civilised society.

In a four-page judgement, acting chairman of the SHRC Habibullah Bhat also recommended to government to pay Rs one lakh ex-gratia to the next of the kin of the deceased and employment to one of the family members.

Mr Bhat gave the judgement on a petition filed by Ramzana Bi, mother of Mubarak Hussain alleging that her son was killed in police custody on June 30, 2006 when he was being taken to Udhampur jail from Reasi.

Rejecting the police claim that Hussain escaped after snatching a rifle from a constable when he was being taken to jail, he said the explanation of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) that Hussain was killed in exchange of fire after he refused to surrender was totally ''unrealistic and imaginary.'' Police in its report had said the accused had compelled them to stop the vehicle so that he could go to attend urinating the nature's call at Bassan Morh.

It said when he went to ease himself, he snatched a rifle and fled away. However, when he refused to surrender and opened fire, police personnel also retaliated and killed him.

'' How can an accused, being escorted to jail, escape in presence of escort'', Mr Bhat asked.

The SHRC chairman said this was a clear case of custodial death and the petitioner, was, therefore, justified for grant of ex-gratia and other relief.

He said the past history of the deceased did not justify his killing in custody.

''He may be a bad citizen, but it does not mean that the police will take the law in their own hands and would kill him in custody,'' Mr Bhat said and directed the state government to register a murder case under section 302 RPC against Assistant Sub-Inspector Lakhpat Rai, head constable Muhammad Iqbal, selection grade constable Harnayaran Singh and WOMAN constable Harmeet Kaur.

UNI BAS ASM KD HT1840

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